TULSA, OK – [December 16, 2021] – Tulsa Health Department officials encourage residents to continue to follow prevention measures to protect against infectious diseases circulating in Tulsa County, including seasonal flu and COVID-19. Prevention measures include frequent handwashing, masking indoors and in large crowds, and vaccinations.
THD partners with the University of Oklahoma and the City of Tulsa on a wastewater surveillance program, which has found an increase in influenza A in wastewater within Tulsa County.
“Since we began monitoring for influenza in Tulsa’s sewage five weeks ago, the concentrations have continued to go up every week,” said Oklahoma Water Survey Director Dr. Jason Vogel.
Influenza activity remains low nationally but continues to increase, according to the CDC.
“Every flu season, we see an increase in influenza-associated hospitalizations during the winter months – particularly among residents age 65 and older. Flu prevention measures like seasonal flu vaccines, frequent handwashing, and staying home when sick help keep our vulnerable residents safe from severe illness from the flu.”
This flu season, 36 Tulsa County residents have been hospitalized with influenza. No deaths have been reported among Tulsa County residents to date this season.
Dr. Dart urges particular caution around the holidays to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu and COVID-19 which could become a burden on local health care systems.
“I want everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season,” added Dr. Dart. “Please follow common-sense safety measures to prevent the spread of illnesses to others.”
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two. While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. This table compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.
The quadrivalent flu vaccine is available on an appointment basis at the following Tulsa Health Department locations. COVID-19 vaccines are also available for anyone ages 5 and older, and may be administered at the same time as the flu vaccine. Call 918-582-9355 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Masks are required to be worn and clients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival.
James O. Goodwin Health Center | 5051 S. 129 E. Ave., Tulsa, OK
Central Regional Health Center | 315 S. Utica, Tulsa, OK
North Regional Health and Wellness Center | 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tulsa OK
Sand Springs Health Center | 306 E. Broadway, Sand Springs, OK
In addition to getting your flu shot, the Tulsa Health Department reminds you to follow these prevention tips:
Take everyday preventive actions that are recommended to reduce the spread of flu.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu.
For flu, the CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine.
For more information please call 918-582-9355 or visit our Flu Page.
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